|11. Demosthenes, Orations, 21.10, 21.16-21.17, 21.58-21.61, 21.63, 21.67-21.69, 21.73-21.74, 21.147, 21.153, 21.174, 21.196, 21.215, 21.226, 58.29
Tagged with subjects: • choregia, choregos, cf. chorus • choregia/choregos • choregos • choregos, deme • choregos, lawsuit • choregos, sons and fathers • chorus, cf. choregia, choregos
Found in books: Humphreys (2018) 154, 198, 445, 831, 859; Martin (2009) 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 277; Riess (2012) 1, 56, 57, 58, 118, 133; Spatharas (2019) 142, 153
|21.10. Now I want to read to you the next law as well, because it will illustrate to all of you the self-restraint of the citizens in general and the hardihood of the defendant. Read the law. The Law Evegorus proposed that, on the occasion of the procession in honor of Dionysus in Peiraeus with the comedies and tragedies, the procession at the Lenaeum with the comedies and tragedies, the procession at the City Dionysia with the boys’ contests and the revel and the comedies and tragedies. and also at the procession and contest of the Thargelia, it shall not be lawful on those days to distrain or to seize any debtors’ property, even if they are defaulters. If anyone transgresses any of these regulations, he shall be liable to prosecution by the aggrieved party, and public plaints against him as an offender may be lodged at the meeting of the Assembly in the temple of Dionysus, as is provided by statute in the case of other offenders. |
21.16. His subsequent conduct, which I am now going to describe, passes all limits; and indeed I should never have ventured to arraign him today, had I not previously secured his immediate conviction in the Assembly. The sacred apparel—for all apparel provided for use at a festival I regard as being sacred until after it has been used—and the golden crowns,which I ordered for the decoration of the chorus, he plotted to destroy,men of Athens, by a nocturnal raid on the premises of my goldsmith. And he did destroy them, though not completely, for that was beyond his power. And no one can say that he ever yet heard of anyone daring or perpetrating such an outrage in this city. 21.17. But not content with this, men of Athens, he actually corrupted the trainer of my chorus; and if Telephanes, the flute-player, had not proved the staunchest friend to me, if he had not seen through the fellow’s game and sent him about his business, if he had not felt it his duty to train the chorus and weld them into shape himself, we could not have taken part in the competition, Athenians; the chorus would have come in untrained and we should have been covered with ignominy. Nor did his insolence stop even there. It was so unrestrained that he bribed the crowned Archon himself; he banded the choristers against me; he bawled and threatened, standing beside the umpires as they took the oath he blocked the gangways from the wings, Rooms projecting R. and L. from the back-scene, and giving access to the orchestra for the dithyrambic chorus. Meidias apparently compelled them to enter by the πάροδοι, like a tragic chorus. See Haigh’s Attic Theatre, p. 117. nailing up those public thoroughfares without public authority; he never ceased to cause me untold damage and annoyance.
21.58. And now I solemnly call your attention to another point. I shall beg you not to be offended if I mention by name some persons who have fallen into misfortune; for I swear to you that in doing so I have no intention of casting reproach upon any man; I only want to show you how carefully all the rest of you avoid anything like violent or insulting behavior. There is, for instance, Sannio, the trainer of the tragic choruses, who was convicted of shirking military service and so found himself in trouble. 21.59. After that misfortune he was hired by a chorus-master—Theozotides, if I am not mistaken—who was keen to win a victory in the tragedies. Well, at first the rival masters were indigt and threatened to debar him, but when they saw that the theater was full and the crowd assembled for the contest, they hesitated, they gave way, and no one laid a finger on him. One can see that the forbearance which piety inspires in every one of you is such that Sannio has been training choruses ever since, not hindered even by his private enemies, much less by any of the chorus-masters. 21.60. Then again there is Aristeides of the tribe of Oeneis, who has had a similar misfortune. He is now an old man and perhaps less useful in a chorus, but he was once chorus-leader for his tribe. You know, of course, that if the leader is withdrawn, the rest of the chorus is done for. But in spite of the keen rivalry of many of the chorus-masters, not one of them looked at the possible advantage or ventured to remove him or prevent him from performing. Since this involved laying hands on him, and since he could not be cited before the Archon as if he were an alien whom it was desired to eject, every man shrank from being seen as the personal author of such an outrage. 21.61. Then is not this, gentlemen of the jury, a shocking and intolerable position? On the one hand, chorus-masters, who think that such a course might bring them victory and who have in many cases spent all their substance on their public services, have never dared to lay hands even on one whom the law permits them to touch, but show such caution, such piety, such moderation that, in spite of their expenditure and their eager competition, they restrain themselves and respect your wishes and your zeal for the festival. Meidias, on the other hand, a private individual who has been put to no expense, just because he has fallen foul of a man whom he hates—a man, remember, who is spending his money as chorus-master and who has full rights of citizenship—insults him and strikes him and cares nothing for the festival, for the laws, for your opinion, or for the god’s honor.
21.63. but Iphicrates never went under cover of night to the goldsmiths’ shops, he never ripped up the costumes intended for the festival, he never bribed the instructor and hindered the training of the chorus, he never played any of the tricks that Meidias repeatedly practised. No, he submitted to the laws and to the wishes of his fellow-citizens, and patiently witnessed the victory and the crowning of his enemy. And he was right; for he felt that such submission was due to the constitution under which he himself had enjoyed such prosperity.
21.67. I suppose what tends to make everyone public-spirited and liberal with his money is the reflection that under a democracy each man has his share of just and equal rights. Now I, men of Athens, was deprived of those rights through this man’s acts, and, quite apart from the insults I endured, I was robbed of my victory. Yet I shall prove to all of you beyond a doubt that Meidias, without committing any outrageous offence, without insulting or striking me, had it in his power both to cause me trouble and to display his public spirit to you in a legitimate way, so that I should not be able to open my lips against him. 21.68. This is what he ought to have done, Athenians. When I offered myself to the Assembly as chorus-master for the tribe of Pandionis, he should have got up and offered himself as a rival master for his own tribe of Erechtheis he should have put himself on equal terms with me and spent his money as I was spending mine and tried in that way to wrest the victory from me; but not even as my rival should he have thus insulted and struck me. 21.69. As it was, he did not adopt this course, by which he might have done honor to the people, nor did he work off his high spirits in this way. No; I was his target, I who in my madness, men of Athens,—for it may be madness to engage in something beyond one’s power perhaps in my ambition, volunteered for chorus-master. He harassed me with a persecution so undisguised and so brutal that neither the sacred costumes nor the chorus nor at last even my own person was safe from his hands.
21.73. In the name of all the gods, Athenians, I ask you to reflect and calculate in your own minds how much more reason I had to be angry when I suffered so at the hands of Meidias, than Euaeon when he killed Boeotus. Euaeon was struck by an acquaintance, who was drunk at the time, in the presence of six or seven witnesses, who were also acquaintances and might be depended upon to denounce the one for his offence and commend the other if he had patiently restrained his feelings after such an affront, especially as Euaeon had gone to sup at a house which he need never have entered at all. 21.74. But I was assaulted by a personal enemy early in the day, when he was sober, prompted by insolence, not by wine, in the presence of many foreigners as well as citizens, and above all in a temple which I was strictly obliged to enter by virtue of my office. And, Athenians, I consider that I was prudent, or rather happily inspired, when I submitted at the time and was not impelled to any irremediable action; though I fully sympathize with Euaeon and anyone else who, when provoked, takes the law into his own hands.
21.147. Yet what was his insolence compared with what has been proved of Meidias today? He boxed the ears of Taureas, when the latter was chorus-master. Granted; but it was as chorus-master to chorus-master that he did it, and he did not transgress the present law, for it had not yet been made. Another story is that he imprisoned the painter Agatharchus. Yes, but he had caught him in an act of trespass, or so we are told; so that it is unfair to blame him for that. He was one of the mutilators of the Hermae. All acts of sacrilege, I suppose, ought to excite the same indignation, but is not complete destruction of sacred things just as sacrilegious as their mutilation? Well, that is what Meidias has been convicted of.
21.153. If, men of Athens, public service consists in saying to you at all the meetings of the Assembly and on every possible occasion, We are the men who perform the public services; we are those who advance your tax-money; we are the capitalists —if that is all it means, then I confess that Meidias has shown himself the most distinguished citizen of Athens ; for he bores us at every Assembly by these tasteless and tactless boasts.
21.174. When he was steward of the Paralus at the time of your expedition to Euboea against the Thebans, though he was authorized to expend twelve talents of public money and was instructed by you to sail and convoy the troops, he rendered them no assistance and did not arrive until Diocles had already concluded his truce with the Thebans; moreover he was outstripped by one of the privately owned galleys. That shows you how well he had equipped your sacred galley. Then as cavalry-commander-I do not know what you think of his other performances, but this wealthy fine gentleman did not venture to buy a horse—not even a horse! He led the processions on one borrowed from Philomelus of Paeania, and every cavalryman knows it. Please call the witnesses to prove the truth of these statements also. The Witnesses
21.196. It would be indeed a great method that you have devised, or, rather, a great trick, if you could in so short a time make yourself the object of two contradictory sentiments, rousing resentment by your way of life and compassion by your mummeries. You have no conceivable claim to compassion; no, not for an instant. On the contrary, hatred, resentment and wrath—those are what your conduct calls for. But let me come back to my point, that he intends to arraign the people and the Assembly.
21.215. But now this would be the hardest blow for me to bear, if, when the offences were fresh in your memory, you displayed such anger and indignation and bitterness that, when Neoptolemus and Mnesarchides and Philippides and another of these very wealthy men were interceding with you and me, you shouted to me not to let him off, and when Blepaeus the banker came up to me, you raised such an uproar, as if I was going to take a bribe—the old, old story!—
21.226. Those of you who were spectators at the Dionysia hissed and hooted Meidias when he entered the theater; you gave every indication of your abhorrence, though you had not yet heard what I had to say about him. Were you so indigt before the case was investigated, that you urged me to demand vengeance for my wrongs and applauded me when I brought my plaint before the Assembly?
58.29. His brother at the time of his death held the office of sacrificer, and this office Theocrines continued to fill in defiance of the laws, without having been designated by lot to assume the office or to fill the vacancy. He went around bewailing his brother’s fate and declaring that he was going to summon Demochares before the Areopagus, until he made terms with those charged with the crime. An honorable man is he indeed, one whom you can trust, a man quite above the appeal of money! Why, even he would not claim that. Men say that whoever means to administer public affairs with justice and moderation should not have so many wants, but should be superior to all those things which lead people to spend on themselves all that they receive.' '. None